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Heat Wave Guide for Cities

Just in case you have "nothing" in writing now.

by Eric Holdeman / July 19, 2019

Heat waves are increasing and so are their lethality to people and animals. The current Midwest to East heatwave brings this all to mind. 

A great resource that Claire Rubin has on her Recovery Diva Blog is this Heatwave Guide for Cities [and counties and states]. I added the latter because every level of government will have to deal with the impacts of heat, today and in the future. This is a risk/hazard that is only going to increase.

Below is an extract where they share on how to use this guide:

"This practical guide is designed with, and for, people working in city government to understand, reduce the risk of, and respond to, heatwaves in their cities. The guide provides information and recommendations for technical staff within city [and counties and state] government, including on: working with partners to understand city-specific heatwave risks; operational approaches to prepare for an imminent heatwave; response strategies to reduce human harm during a heatwave; and ways to learn from a heatwave that has just ended. Case studies from cities around the world are included in this guide to highlight effective urban heat adaptation strategies, including early warning systems, climate-sensitive designs and public information campaigns. Throughout each chapter there are recommended actions that can be taken and online resources for more detailed guidance on heatwave risks."

Note also the threat to our aging and not so resilient infrastructure. I think the duration of heat waves is the significant risk. Utilities might be able to surge for a short period of time, but a heatwave that goes on for many days or even weeks will cause systems to crash. 

One last note. I was able to catch up with Claire in person this past week at the Natural Hazards Workshop in Colorado. She shared that "way back" when she started to attend these workshops (this was the 44th), someone remarked that it was great to see a woman in attendance. At this particular event, it looks to me that women were equal in numbers or even exceeding the men who attended. While much progress still needs to be made to diversify our emergency management workforce, here — at this event — I would say equality has been achieved.

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